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How do you really know when they’ve had enough?

14 replies

Springersrock · 15/07/2020 13:49

We have an old lady, retired due to pretty bad arthritis.

Winter just gone wasn’t good for her, she had a nasty dose of mud fever and had to stay in quite a bit as the fields at the yard we were at at the time were just awful.

We moved yards mid-January, and she hasn’t really looked back since - out every day barring really vile weather, full of beans, she had been throwing some spectacular shapes when turned out, busted out of her stable the other day and raided the feed bins, she can get up/down/roll fine, her appetite isn’t diminished in anyway - her usual cheeky-madam-self really

Other than her arthritis, she’s in pretty good health, however, I was watching her mooching around her field last night and realised she’s actually looking a bit rickety and sore.

She’s stiff when she’s first turned out but loosens up, a bit of a head bob in walk on the concrete yard, she’s lame in trot and thinking about it I can’t remember the last time I saw her take off for a good old canter or bronc across her paddock, but if you wave a carrot in her direction she can get a good fast walk going, and is very much in charge of her field buddies. Some days she’s better than others

I’ve spoken to the vet, who isn’t massively concerned - he says hard ground isn’t helping at the moment, but we all have bad days and good days - as long as she’s bright and eating and her usual self, then let her get on with it

She broke my heart last night - but then this morning she was kicking her door because I wasn’t quick enough with her breakfast and trod on my foot in her eagerness to get out

She’s on 1 Danillon a day - our vet is very reluctant to up it, and an arthritis supplement.

We try and keep her out as much as possible, but she doesn’t like being fully out. She’s usually in for 2 or 3 nights a week

OP posts:
lukasiak · 15/07/2020 20:35

You just know.
In this case, you clearly don't know, so leave it as it is for now. Believe me, when it's time, you will know. Thank you for taking such good care of your old girl, btw.

CeliaCanth · 15/07/2020 20:51

I think “as long as she’s bright” is a good thing to keep in mind. Keep checking her facial expressions too - if you google “pain face” in horses, it might be useful?

She’s lucky to have such a caring human.

Springersrock · 15/07/2020 23:11

Thank you!

She was my daughter’s first pony and she’s been an absolute joy to own. She’s a huge character and makes me laugh with her antics every day. I want her to have a lovely retirement and just do her thing

A few people have made noises at our yard about PTS, I don’t think she’s there yet, but after watching her last night I’m doubting myself a bit

She does have days when she’s a bit sore and uncomfortable, but then tonight she refused to come in, tried to steal our other pony’s tea and knocked over the wheelbarrow when I was poo picking 🤷‍♀️

OP posts:
Springersrock · 15/07/2020 23:15

Sorry, meant to add, I’ve had a look at the pain face chart before.

Maybe sometimes - then she sees something to eat and it’s gone 😂

OP posts:
ItsMischerWavy · 17/07/2020 06:25

As long as shes happy, bright and not in lots of pain then she's fine. It's weird but you can just tell when they've had enough, they make it clear (normally anyway!)

Sounds ridiculous but have you tried her on turmeric? I've had amazing results with it in both horses and dogs. I also highly rate devil's claw and have had amazing results with that but can't remember if you can feed it with Danilon or not.

Just keep doing what you're doing and loving your pony. You're doing a great job. Enjoy her sunshine years and all the cheekiness she's getting up to 😊

Toddlerteaplease · 17/07/2020 06:47

I don't know anything about horses, but she sounds wonderful!

Fueledwithfairydustandgin · 17/07/2020 07:01

I don’t think she sounds too bad now but equally I’m a big believer in “better a week too soon than a day too late.”

JontyDoggle37 · 17/07/2020 07:13

I’ve got an oldie on Vetrofen and it’s made a big difference. Also, if she’s near the end, what difference will two Danilon a day make - sometimes vets get so hung up on side effects they forget about short term quality of life. I’d be ringing them back and saying you’re upping the dose to two and they need to prescribe accordingly. If it gives her 6 months pain free, that’s a brilliant outcome.

weaselwords · 17/07/2020 07:34

She sounds like me and I still think I’m in my prime!

When they start dropping weight and you can’t get it back on and lose all their energy they’ve probably had enough. See how she goes this winter. If you can’t get her weight back up over next summer, let her go at the end of it so she doesn’t have to struggle in the cold and wet with no energy and in pain.

You are a good person thinking of your horses best interests. I know this is the hard part.

Springersrock · 17/07/2020 12:54

Thank you!

She’s definitely not having any trouble with dropping weight. Quite the reverse to be honest.

She’s so disgusted with the small hole haynets I bought her last weekend, that she’s bitten massive holes in them already 🤦‍♀️.

She did her favourite trick of fooling the humans into thinking she’s dead this morning. Flat out asleep, in her field, not moving. Legged it across the field with my heart in my throat, only to get a massive eye roll for waking her up. I fall for it every time.

She is bright and healthy I think - bloody arthritis is horrible, the mind is definitely willing but the legs just aren’t able, poor thing

I do give her extra Danillon if she’s been doing something exceptionally silly. 1 a day seems fine for just mooching, but sometimes she’s a tit and needs an extra one.

DD is taking her pony to the beach tomorrow so I though I might take her too, in-hand for a wander. Not sure if I want to die just yet though 😂

OP posts:
Springersrock · 17/07/2020 12:58

Sorry, meant to add, we’ve tried stuff like turmeric and devils claw - along with a million supplements, magnetic boots, etc, etc

We’ve settled on 1 Danillon a day, and Pharmaquin at the moment. She’s mostly doing ok on it

I think the major problem at the moment is the hard ground. We desperately need some good rain to soften it up a bit again.

OP posts:
Toddlerteaplease · 18/07/2020 11:36

Sounds like she has a wonderful life!

BakewellGin1 · 18/07/2020 22:02

She sounds happy...

In our case I never believed when our old yard owner said you will know... But I did...

Our little Welsh mare had lameness issues (arthritis, navicular, knackered coffin joint) and so on - we always said she didn't have a good leg... Backstory was she was sold as a 7 year old to my unknowing parents and was really 3.

By age 12 she was down to hacking and by 15 we retired her completely. She was an expensive field ornament with an attitude problem basically but always happy pottering about and used to tank about, barge about on the end of a lead rope and generally be a pain in the arse.

I went up one day in August and caught her and literally she had to be dragged in that day. She was miserable. I rang my Dad in tears and told him it's time - I have always promised myself when it was time it would happen and I wouldn't make her suffer through another winter.

So she spent a week full of danillon to manage the pain and she pottered about filling herself with grass turned out 24/7 (usually not allowed)

The vet agreed 100% with our decision and she was PTS in the field where she had spent most of her life.

Looking back at photos it's true - their eyes tell you when. I took a few last photos of her and you can see the spark has gone on the last morning.

I was devastated but I would make the same decision again for her. She gave us so many happy memories and it's the least I could do for her.

Brenna24 · 18/07/2020 22:09

One thing that I would factor into my decision is that winters are so much harder on them. So I tend to let mine have one last good summer, then let them go before the winter gets them when they are getting close to that time. It is so hard watching them struggle through winter and they drop condition so quickly then. I would rather that they went out on a bit of a high.

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